OGDEN -- CSN Stores, LLC, the nation's third-largest online retailer of home goods, announced today it will establish a Western region customer care and distribution center in Ogden resulting in more than 800 jobs over the next decade.
The announcement coincides with a decision this morning by the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board to offer the Boston-based company $548,500 in post-payment tax incentives.
Founded in 2002, CSN comprises more than 250 different shopping sites under the company's overall umbrella. Web sites include Luggage.com, Cookware.com, AllModern.com and BedroomFurniture.com.
Within its first four years in operation, CSN reached sales of $109 million and has continued to grow ever since, according to GOED. In 2010, CSN's sales grew more than 50 percent compared to 2009, surpassing $375 million.
Niraj Shah, chief executive officer and co-founder of CSN, said the company chose Ogden over 20 other cities during a six-month search for a site for its Western operation.
"We are delighted to establish both our Western U.S. customer service center and distribution center in Ogden, a community that's the perfect fit for CSN, with a well-educated, talented and diligent workforce," he said in a prepared statement. "The representatives we've met from Utah have been extremely welcoming and enthusiastic, true collaborators interested in a mutually rewarding partnership."
Gov. Gary R. Herbert said he's pleased CSN has recognized the benefits of doing business in Utah.
"Utah's many strengths enable us to retain, attract, and grow business, particularly our productive workforce and sound business environment," he said in a news release. "State leaders have been fiscally prudent which gives Utah an economic advantage."
CSN is deciding between two existing buildings to lease for its customer care and distribution center that is scheduled to open in April, said Mayor Matthew Godfrey. He declined to identify the location of the buildings.
The city isn't providing any cash incentives to CSN but will offer infrastructure improvements and allowances for office furniture and fixtures valued at $50,000 to $100,000, depending on which building the company selects, said Godfrey.
CSN will be investing $1.5 million in its Ogden facility and will pay more than $2.7 million in state taxes over the next decade, according to GOED.
Tax incentives from GOED will be paid as jobs are created.
During the next two years the company is slated to create up to 266 new, full-time positions. An additional 597 jobs are expected to added over the next decade.
Up to 163 positions will have full benefits and will exceed 125 percent of Weber County's average wage, according to the incentive agreement with GOED.
Based on that formula, salaries for each of those jobs would total more than $42,000 annually, Godfrey said, adding that he expects CSN to fill most of the positions with individuals hired from the Ogden area.
The Utah Department of Workforce Services will provide up to $200,000 in training funds for new employees hired during the first two years of CSN's operations in Ogden.
Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College will also be providing ongoing CSN employee training.
"Our training expertise partnered with the company's reputation for quality services will ensure a great future for CSN Stores, its employees and Weber County," said Collette Mercier, president of the college.
Jeff Edwards, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah which assisted in recruiting CSN, praised Ogden's efforts to land the company.
"CSN Stores' presence in Northern Utah is another success story of Ogden's commitment to bringing great jobs and competitive wages to its community by capitalizing on great public/private partnerships," he said in a written statement.
Ogden's success in attracting numerous outdoor recreation companies apparently caught the attention of CSN, said Godfrey.
"One of the benefits in recruiting the outdoor industry is that more companies will come," Godfrey said.
Godfrey also credited Steve Fishburn, the city's business development manager, with playing a key role in persuading CSN to operate in Ogden.